sailing the NorSea


WEEK 31 2012

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Saturday 4 August 2012
Saturday - OTR. Working at my sister's. The first thing was to dis-assemble the old deck frame and move it to the new location, closer to the pool. This was fairly easy, but placing the piers wasn't. I'd forgotten my laser level, so I had to use 12' lengths of the not very straight old lumber as leveling rods, using a 6' level. We bought some better piers and sand and set about it. It took most of the day just to get them in place and roughly aligned - that ground is hard as rock.

In fact the town of Niles is the former site of numerous quarries and clay yards. I'd asked my sister if she had a pick and shovel, and she'd said yes. What she actually had was a short handled shovel and one of those little utility shovels that army jeeps are supplied with - 18" long and if you adjust a knob on the end it is transformed sort of a pick too. Anyhow, we got the piers in, though not as deep as I'd like.

In particular near the house there are two I didn't like, but V didn't want to redo them. My comment was "Can't see it from my house!" and I moved on to the next task.

The ground in the new location is a great deal lower than the original location, approaching two feet. Because she wanted the deck level with the house, rather than a step down this meant that I had to install 4x4 posts from the piers up to the deck proper.

Friday 3 August 2012
Friday - OTR. Went over mid morning and dropped off stuff, then spent most of the day trying to get the plumbing straightened out. The first problem was that there appeared to be no studs in the only sheet rocked wall to hang the shampoo basin from. The second is that there was no real hot water, there was a single cold water line that went through a splitter and fed a little water heater and then the existing sink. To add another bowl meant two more splitters, a bunch more hoses, and all of weird sizes. In the end, after a bunch of shopping at Lowe's and elsewhere, we picked up a nice new Shampoo bowl down in San Mateo and brought it back. I drew a diagram of how it should be plumbed to my friends, and they are going to continue working on it tomorrow.

Thursday 2 August 2012

Thursday - OTR. Headed up to Fremont and San Francisco at about noon, much later than I'd planned. The back of the Explorer is full of stuff for the new salon, "Mirror Mirror" I think it's called, to the point where stuff was touching the roof. Still, that's better than dragging a trailer at 55mph. I arrived so late that I just stayed at my sister's place in Niles rather than try to deliver and unload stuff at 9pm in San Francisco. Lot's of slow traffic and construction. The 99, the 5 and the 33 all had major construction and delays. It could be an accident that CalTrans has messed up all the North-South arteries at the same time ... or they are making a statement to Sacramento about their importance in a time of (supposedly) stringent budget cutting. Ah well. It's nice having air conditioning....

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Wednesday  - The hot weather means the birds are going through the feed quickly - both the hummingbird feeder and the little mesh seed feeder need filling every couple of a days. I noticed that there are four hummingbirds fighting over the feeder. The "owner" will chase one away and the other two will come and scarf down until he returns. The "owner" is not the largest of the hummingbirds, but he has some sort of moral authority I guess, or maybe just has more fight in him. One of the thief's has an interesting flying sound, more like the sound from the Jetson's car than the usual hummingbird hum.

I was going to paint the trim brown next to the French doors, in back, but realized as I was taking off the little weather sealing strips that it should be green, just like the rest of the exterior trim. Which makes things a little easier, less taping off and such. But now I need to give that part another coat, to match the rest, it's more of a primer coat, soaking in despite the former paint. The wood was pretty weathered, and it's easy to see the grain and such with new satin paint. But since the trim on the rest of the house is kind of a rough cut timber style it looks OK, fits right in, not a lot of sanding and smoothing necessary.

I'm getting ready for the trip north, collecting tools, packing, and going over and picking up the stuff I'm supposed to bring.

Tuesday 31 July 2012
Tuesday - Hot again.

Did some bills, which made me realize that I forgot to buy stamps at Von's yesterday :-( So I drove over and bought those, then gassed up the Explorer, wash-n-waxed it, then went over to Home Depot COSTCO and had the tires rotated.

While that was going on I had an eye exam. My prescription has changed nearly a diopter - for the better. Huh.

The optometrist says it should now be corrected to 20:25, which I doubt, but it will certainly be better than trying to navigate  in Los Angeles by estimates of the name length on street signs rather than, you know, actually being able to read them.

It's funny - in Home Depot COSTCO I passed by the teevee section and noticed that the 47" flat screen teevee's look tiny alongside the 60", 72" and 80" units. Mine is certainly big enough for my room! The prices also seemed a bit higher than when I bought, perhaps we're past the post-Christmas get-rid-of-inventory stage of things.

Monday 30 July 2012

Monday - did some of the green trim. After it was done it was easy to see some spots that I missed with the caulk - I'll have to go back and redo some spots. I've also have a quart of "gloss leather brown" RustOleum in the garage that I'll try using for the inside part of the frame.

I picked up a bench at Home Depot, one of those "park bench" style units. It turned out to be kind of a rip off, as the posted price did not include the "assembly fee" of $20, which moved it from the "deal" category to "typical". I suspect the law would say they'd have to sell it at the posted price, but whatever...

Did a lot of shopping too - I haven't been to the grocery store since I got back and the cupboard was getting a bit bare.

One of the tools in my garage is an old wire cutter that I stole obtained from my Dad years ago. I was using it the other day and realized that it was made in 1941, during WW2. At internet search describes it as being a military barbed wire cutter.

It was designed for use on live circuits, as the handle is marked "30KV".

Probaby war surplus, who knows - it may have been in Normandy on June 6, 1944!

Helpful hint of the day: If you see your cat intently stalking a bird: do not reach down and surprise it with a little pat on the back. Or, if you do, make sure you're wearing heavy gloves.

Sunday 29 July 2012

Sunday - Working in the back on the trim and stuff. It sure gets hot quick around here in July!

Here's a shot of the USB stick that I rescued data off, last week. It would be repairable if I had a small enough solder gun, but I had a dozen 8GB sticks laying about, and just used one them to transfer and return the data with.

I can remember when 2GB was a lot of data, not a match head sized chip.

I'll probably head up to San Francisco and Fremont later in the week. I'll help deliver some equipment to a beauty salon a friend's daughter is opening, then head over to Niles and help my sister move/install a deck in her back yard. Probably fix that bad hose bib in the front as well.

Picture of the Week
Red Rock Canyon
Photo Notes: Cliffs at Red Rock Canyon.

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